When you know that your new cat trusts you completely you get a little bit of a frisson passing through your body.
If there one aspect of the cat/human relationship which can stand out it is the moment when your cat tells you through body language and vocalisation that he/she trusts you completely. This moment is particularly important to cat adopters who adopt a shy rescue cat or a feral cat who wants to be domesticated but who is reticent and cautious.
Or in my case I raised a feral kitten from about 8 weeks of age and after having him for about 5 days of intensive socialization and TLC, he came on my lap and spread out belly up and snoozed. That was the moment when I knew we’d be great buddies because he completely trusted me. It was a moment of triumph. Goal achieved. Job done. I felt blessed to be accepted by him. That is humans for you. For my cat is was just about being sensible and surviving. I am sure he felt good too because he felt safe and secure. He was warm and fed.
It is the trust element which is important. Cats are very wary and rightly so. It does depend on the character but there is the inherent caution. We have to earn the trust. It makes us feel good when we see it in our cat’s behaviour.
When a cat owner becomes a true friend to their cat he/she feels good. When you can handle your cat with complete confidence knowing that there will be no nervousness from your cat; this is a good feeling too.
When you have all your little routines in place this creates certainties and cats love certainties, routines and familiarity. These routines reinforce the human/cat bond. They speed up and cement the closeness of the relationship.
A guy on Reddit said this when his cat rolled over belly up for the first time (see photo above):
“He rolled over for the first time today and I can’t handle it.”
What he meant was that he felt the emotion of the moment. The emotion he felt was pride at being trusted.
One commentator wrote:
“Is it wrong that I’m more excited about a cat rolling over for the first time than my infant nephew?”
This is quite a keenly observed comment from someone:
“My cat loves belly rubs until she doesn’t.”
Yes, cats like belly rubs but…there are limits to force and duration. And a cat will tell you when it is time up. Always do it with gentleness.
Some say that when a cat presents his/her belly it is a sign of submission. I don’t think so. It is a sign that your cat wants her belly rubbed because she likes it. Simple.
The trust that your cat gives you is a blessing. We are different species of animal. Domestic cats are borderline domesticated! That trust is precious.